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Albert Pujols would be fine if the Cardinals gave his number away

Apr 4, 2012, 6:41 PM EDT

Albert Pujols AP

No matter the way the relationship ended, Albert Pujols‘ No. 5 seems destined to be retired by the Cardinals someday after his career is over. Pujols, though, told USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale he wouldn’t mind if they choose to give it away.

“It’s just a number, so if someone else wants to wear it, that won’t hurt my feelings,” Pujols says. “Would I be shocked if St. Louis gave that number to somebody? No. They can do whatever they want. I don’t play there anymore. I’m being honest; that won’t bother me at all.”

Pujols ranks second in Cardinals franchise history in homers (445), doubles (455) and RBI (1,329), trailing only Stan Musial in each category. He also played a big role in two World Series victories. Given that the franchise hasn’t been especially shy about retiring numbers (Bruce Sutter and Ken Boyer are among their retirees), it would be pretty shocking if anyone ever again wears No. 5, unless maybe Pujols goes back and does it himself at the very end of his career.

  1. scatterbrian - Apr 4, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    It’s just a number? It’s also just a nickname, Hombre…

  2. marshmallowsnake - Apr 4, 2012 at 7:37 PM

    It’s just a contract too, right?

  3. shea801 - Apr 4, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I don’t think he DOES mind, but I think he’s still a little bitter with the way St. Louis handled the contract offers. Life goes on, el Hombre.

    /still gonna miss him though :/

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      What the Organization could have done better is approached him sooner about a contract.
      Other than that…after thinking long and hard about it…I am not going to fault them.
      Admittedly…I was flat pissed off initially. But I keep coming back to what they ultimately offered.
      Specifically…at the end of the day A.P. declined what was (at the time) the 3rd largest Contract in the history of the game. What’s done is done.
      I am ready to move on and welcome him back in 2022.

      • ajcardsfan - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        I hold no resentment against the man, he was the best I’ve been alive to see in Busch, and I hope him a long healthy career, and that one day he’ll become the Cardinals Batting Coach after McGwire. I hope we don’t give his number away, even if he doesn’t finish his career here in STL, he did enough while he was here to have it retired.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        I am with you AJ. They need to retire it after he is done playing.

  4. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - Apr 4, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    That is very generous of a him.
    TLR just woke up from a 4month blackout wondering why Albert would want to give away his number.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 5, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      Somebody has a Man Crush on TLR.
      It’s okay Brokeass…OWN IT.

  5. paperlions - Apr 4, 2012 at 8:08 PM

    He would mind. If they game some kid #5 tomorrow, he would be pissed. Of course he can’t say that publicly, but he would be thinking “after all I did there, they F-in give my number away the very next year?”….and he wouldn’t be different than anyone else in his circumstance….there is no way to not take such things personally, even if you don’t have a “right” to do so.

  6. 78mu - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:30 PM

    Forget what Albert thinks. Which Cardinal would want to wear the number?

    • paperlions - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      No one.

    • stex52 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      Nah, no pressure. :-)

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